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Florida hurricane threat; Lancashire storm losses; Lloyd's Beale decries sexism

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Florida hurricane threat; Lancashire storm losses; Lloyd's Beale decries sexism

Tropical Storm Michael is forecast to hit the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday and then make its way northeastward across the southeastern U.S. on Wednesday night or Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Michael is expected to become a hurricane later today and continue to strengthen, approaching or reaching major (Category 3) hurricane status when it reaches the northeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday night and Wednesday.

As insurers brace for Michael, shares in London-listed Lancashire Holdings Ltd. fell sharply today after it forecast a third-quarter loss on the back of marine and natural catastrophe claims. The company expects aggregate estimated net losses of about $30 million from marine loss events, and a further $25 million to $45 million off the back of Hurricane Florence and typhoons Jebi, Mangkhut and Trami.

Also counting the cost of extreme weather conditions are British property insurers, whose average net combined ratio is expected to rise to 101% this year on the back of sharply higher claims during the first half, according to EY. Britain was hit by extreme winter storms in February and March, while the summer heat wave increased the occurrence of subsidence in houses.

Outgoing Lloyd's of London CEO Inga Beale told BBC News that the insurance market is accelerating plans to transfer contracts to a Brussels-based subsidiary as part of its Brexit contingency preparations. Beale also told The Sunday Times of London that she had faced sexist and homophobic abuse over her attempts to modernize the market during her tenure as its first female CEO.

U.K.-based Prudential PLC is eyeing acquisitions and distribution partnerships with lenders in Asia, Nic Nicandrou, CEO of the company's Asia operations, told Reuters.

Shares in Bermuda-based Maiden Holdings Ltd. closed up more than 14% on Friday after The Insurance Insider reported that the company had appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch to launch a formal sale process.

Allstate Corp. completed its announced acquisition of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based InfoArmor Inc., a provider of employee identity protection.

Greenlight Capital Re Ltd. unit Greenlight Re Innovations invested in Austin, Texas-based third-party administrator Sana Benefits.

CUNA Mutual Group transferred a runoff portfolio of workers' compensation liabilities to SunPoint Holdings Ltd. subsidiary SunPoint Reinsurance Ltd. through collateralized reinsurance and a claims service agreement.

Arch Mortgage Insurance Co. and United Guaranty Residential Insurance Co. said they are compliant with the revised Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Requirements, or PMIERs 2.0.

Legal & General Group PLC's Legal & General Assurance Society Ltd. completed a £2.4 billion buyout for the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan.

Germany's HDI Global SE intends to place its Bahrain operation into full runoff by mid-2019, The Insurance Insider reported.

Indian e-commerce company Flipkart India Pvt. Ltd. was granted a corporate agent license, Press Trust of India reported, citing a statement. Flipkart teamed up with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd. to provide customized insurance products to power its mobile phone protection program for mobile phone brands sold on its platform.

South Korea's Hanwha General Insurance Co. Ltd. plans to set up an online insurance joint venture with SK Telecom Co. Ltd., The Chosun Ilbo reported. The insurer will apply for a preliminary license from the Financial Services Commission.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

M&A climate, Q3 cat results may shape possible sale prospects for RenaissanceRe: Private equity, or prospective European or Japanese buyers could offer substantial premiums for the reinsurer, according to industry analysts.

Manulife shares fall amid short-seller spat; RenRe up as investor pushes sale: Insurance stocks outperformed the broader market as the S&P 500 lost 0.98%, slipping to 2,885.57, while the SNL U.S. Insurance Index added 0.71% to 1,085.56.

Drinking ban uproar showed Lloyd's exists in 'bubble,' says outgoing CEO: Outgoing Lloyd's of London boss Inga Beale admits that she underestimated how tough it would be to change the culture at the 330-year-old insurance market.

Novartis seeks US, EU nods for MS drug; Merck HPV vaccine gets wider US FDA nod: Novartis is seeking U.S. and EU approval for its drug siponimod to treat secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, and Merck & Co.'s HPV vaccine Gardasil 9 received the U.S. FDA's expanded approval to treat women and men aged 27 through 45 years.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: China cuts reserve ratio; Axis Bank stake sale delayed; India holds rates steady

Europe: Lloyds, Schroders in wealth tie-up talks; Monte dei Paschi selling Belgian unit

Middle East & Africa: South Africa minister faces pressure to resign; S&P lowers outlook on Morocco

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 1.39% to 26,202.57. In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.56% to 7,277.39 and the Euronext 100 slipped 0.74% to 1,031.23.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, laying out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

On the macro front

The TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index is due out today.

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